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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

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Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Keeping your stainless steel sparkling and streak free can be a challenge. This guide is about cleaning stainless steel appliances.


Solutions: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

Use Windex and coffee filters. The fibers in the coffee filters help get handprints and other things off stainless steel much better than a paper towel and dries clean without leaving smudges.

By Debbie N from Tacoma, WA

Tip: Polishing Stainless Steel Appliances

For 3 years I have been struggling to keep my stainless steel appliances clean. They always have drip marks and finger prints on them. Finally, I found the perfect solution and it is something almost everyone has in their home.

First clean the surface with warm soapy water and rinse. Yes, I know, you're going to see a lot of streaks. But, then spray WD-40 on a soft, lint-free cloth (I used an old t-shirt) and wipe over the stainless steel surface. Just a tiny bit will do it.

A very thin layer of WD-40 will really shine your appliances up and keep them smudge free for a long time. If finger prints or smudges do show up, just a dry soft cloth will erase them instantly. What a time saver this has been! Try it for yourself.

Source: I found this tip online after a very frustrating, and unsuccessful cleaning attempt.

By antiquefreeque from WI

Tip: Polish Stainless Steel Appliances With Vegetable Oil

Polishing stainless steel with vegetable oil.An easy way to clean and polish stainless steel appliances is with vegetable oil and a rag. Dampen the rag with some vegetable oil, wipe down the appliance and it will shine like new.

Tip: Use Baby Oil on Stainless Steel

After cleaning your stainless steel, smear on some baby oil with a dry cloth. The stains will be easier to remove in future.

By toybox45 from renfrew

Tip: Use Baking Powder for Smudges on Stainless Steel

To clean smudge marks off stainless steel appliances, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub over the spots. Then wipe the appliance down with plain water, and dry.

By DAISY MAY from Coconut Creek, FL

Tip: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

We have a smallish kitchen and stainless appliances. I've found my best solution is to use Awesome (at most dollar stores). I spray it, one door at a time, and use old towels or t-shirts to get some scrubbing ability. It gets just about everything off. I then wipe it down with clear water and/or vinegar, then a quick Windex. Paper towels or coffee filters work for the Windex step. I prefer a clean cloth for everything.

This removes not only the cooking and handprint crud, but, with a smoker in the house, it removes that too. In truth, there's nothing better made for removing smoking residue (even years of accumulation) than Awesome. Just be careful on painted surfaces.

    By jcraw [1]

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    Here are questions related to Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances.

    Question: Cleaning a Stainless Steel Stove

    I am wanting to find a way to clean the top and outside of my stainless steel gas stove. I have tried soapy water like the instructions say or just a wet wash cloth, but it always leaves water spots or smudges. Please help me. Thanks.

    By Alecia


    Most Recent Answer

    By leanne chaisson [44]07/18/2011

    We have a stainless steel elevator in this building. We use baby oil on a t-shirt rag to wipe down the walls, it doesn't leave any streaks.

    Question: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    I have a lot of buildup of stainless steel appliance cleaner. My frig doors are all smudged with build up. If I use the stainless cleaning pads I bought at the store, it looks good for a few hours, then it gets even more smudged with build up. Can anyone help me? I'm at my wits end!

    By Julie from Medford, NJ


    Most Recent Answer

    By Lilac [20]04/11/2011

    Use eazy off oven cleaner on stainless steel. All grease will lift off.

    Question: Removing Smoke Residue from Stainless Steel

    We recently had a house fire and my stainless steel back splash and vent-a-hood have a dull, film on them. The cleaning people used industrial cleaner and stainless steel cleaner and it's still dull with no shine. I have recleaned both myself to no avail. Any suggestions on how to get this cleaned would be appreciated. Thanks.

    By Jules J

    Most Recent Answer

    By Pamela Schlomer C.03/28/2015

    I clean my stainless steel with isopropil alcohol and it works great!

    Question: Cleaning a Stainless Steel Gas range

    What is the best way to clean around burners on a stainless gas range?

    By Carol

    Most Recent Answer

    By Peterson kelly03/26/2014

    You can use vinegar solution for it. Just take normal hot water and mix 1/4 vinegar solution in it than pour it on dirt place and wipe with soft cloth.

    Question: Removing Fingerprints from Stainless Steel Appliances

    Can anyone help on how to clean fingerprints off of a stainless steal appliance?

    By Janet K.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Lewissan [39]03/11/2013

    Put some vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe it down. It will gleam.

    Question: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    I work for a cleaning company and we use Elco stainless steel cleaner. A lot of our stainless steel fridges, dishwashers, and ovens are getting a greasy (sticky like) buildup. When we try to buff out smudges, it only gets worse. We do not know what to do? We need help getting the residue buildup off and then what would be good to use? Please help.

    By Cricket

    Most Recent Answer


    A good grease remover is Lestoil (good luck, finding that in your grocery store nowadays). Another is ammonia. If you can get commercial grade it is more cost effective and it lasts much longer because it is so strong. Be careful with it; the fumes are overwhelming, and you should dilute it. Be sure the windows are open while you use it. And wear protective gloves, with either of these.

    Also, don't use synthetic cloth to clean the stainless steel with either of these products. Use only clean cotton material that has NOT been rinsed with fabric softener. Or use paper towels (but that is so UN-Thrifty).
    Your stainless steel will gleam after a wash down with either of these.

    Question: Cleaner Dulled the Shine on Stainless Steel Appliances

    A harsh cleaner was used on some stainless steel appliances. It looks like it stripped away the surface. I am not sure if it was a clearcoat of some type. Please help! How can I restore the luster and shine to the front of the appliances?

    By Kim from Sacramento, CA

    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. [6]09/21/2010

    My mother splashed Drano on her stainless steel coffee maker and it has left a terrible stain. I don't think that this can be polished off. What was the harsh cleaner that was used on your appliances? That might make a difference. If you find out how to bring back the shine to your appliances, perhaps I could do the same for the coffeemaker.

    Question: Cleaning Stainless Steel with Vinegar

    Is it safe to use vinegar to clean hard water stains in a washing machine with a stainless steel tub? If so, do I use full strength or dilute?

    By JJ from The Woodlands, TX

    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. [6]04/23/2010

    Vinegar should do the trick. If vinegar doesn't harm your hands, it is not going to harm the stainless steel. It should dissolve the hard water stains.

    Question: Dishwasher Liquid Stains on Stainless Steel Stove

    I have dishwasher liquid stains on a stainless steel stove top. How can I remove them?

    By Carol D from Muscat, Oman

    Question: Cleaning Discoloration on Stainless Steel Stove

    I have dark discoloration stains from spills around my burners on my stove. Can anyone tell me what to use to remove them?

    By Beverly

    Question: Dishwasher Gel Stained Stainless Steel Front

    The gel dishwasher soap has made marks on the stainless steel front panel. How can I get the marks out?

    By Bonnie from Valparaiso, IN


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    We have recently moved to a home that has stainless steel appliances and I have a hard time keeping them free of fingermarks, etc. Does anyone have advice on the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?

    Joan from Chesterfield, MI

    RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances 10/17/2005
    They sell stuff to clean it at places like Lowes, but you need to read the directions and do as they say, otherwise they don't polish out right. I hate these appliances because I clean houses and they are a real pain. I recently used a cleaner that sprays on, it is in a grayish colored can and worked really well after reading the directions.
    By Dede (Guest Post)
    RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances 10/17/2005
    Use window cleaner and a soft rag. It will clean and polish your Stainess Steel appliances to a mirror finish.
    By Linda W. (Guest Post)
    RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances 10/17/2005
    I use bartenders secret. It is a mild cleansing power like comet, but milder. It takes off rust and is great on my stainless steel sink! I never knew how much build up was on it until I tried this! Plus, it is the cheapest powdered cleanser I have ever seen!
    By lpatterson (Guest Post)
    RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances 11/20/2005
    I've tried all those Special stainless steel cleaners/polishes and all they did was make a mess and cost me money! Then I tried Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner with Vinegar and it works GREAT!
    By Marilyn E.
    RE: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances 04/09/2006
    I use pledge. It acts like a protector which lasts about 2 weeks. Shouldn't see any kind of marks.
    By Marlis (Guest Post)

    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    Need to know how to clean stainless steel fronts of kitchen appliances. I know to go with the grain, but what do I use?


    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    We bought a stainless steel refrigerator with French doors about 8 months ago. It was expensive and is beautiful.


    Archive: Polishing Stainless Steel

    Use 100% pure virgin olive oil on a lint free, clean cloth, to polish stainless steel to a smudge free shine. I hardly believed it myself but tried it today on my stainless steel refrigerator and was truly amazed. And it is MUCH cheaper buying the oil than it is to buy a small bottle of stainless cleaner. Another plus? You can't cook with the stainless cleaner!

    By Jarron from Ocala, Florida

    RE: Polishing Stainless Steel

    You can use baby oil too (05/14/2007)

    By mumsy

    RE: Polishing Stainless Steel

    All the tips on polishing stainless steel work, but be prepared to spend at least an hour on rubbing and polishing until you get the shine without the streaks! Stainless steel appliances are nice when they are new, but mainly a pain after the initial "wow"! They are hard to maintain. Personally, I would choose all white appliances if the choice was left to me. They are maintenance free and timeless and they allow me to have a life outside of polishing! (10/26/2007)

    By Liz

    RE: Polishing Stainless Steel

    OMG - I am so excited! I have my refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave back. I tried the olive oil and wow - they look great! I love them clean and shiny and I just couldn't keep them clean. The olive oil worked great! (03/24/2008)

    By Jan

    RE: Polishing Stainless Steel

    The olive oil worked better than my stainless steel store-bought cleaner on my stainless steel trash can. It shines beautifully and does not leave a strong smell as does my other cleaner. Also, it is a very natural product so I no longer have to worry about keeping another harsh chemical in my house. Thanks for this great tip! (01/18/2009)

    By marilf14

    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    What is the best way to clean stainless steel appliances?


    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    How do I clean stainless steel appliances?


    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    Just when your kitchen's stainless steel appliances seem doomed to be forever smudged and streaked, here comes Mr Stainless Shine to the rescue.


    Archive: Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

    To clean stainless steel appliances use an after-shower spray, which are basically highly softened water. Spray and wipe with microfiber cloth or paper towels. No streaking! I tried at least seven other cleaners before hitting upon this inexpensive method.

    By digby from PA